Christian Jeanpierre, the TF 1 sports journalist who is about to leave the channel after 32 years of presence, is back in the news … for free. When he was to release a thriller based on the world of football at the end of the year, he decided to put his novel online free from this Thursday. He explains his approach.
Why publish your book for free?
CHRISTIAN JEANPIERRE. Because the world is changing and we have to be sharing. I could have waited until the end of 2020 and published it with an editor. And I would have touched my copyright. But I don’t have to wait for extra euros. But there, our world is teetering. We have to change the model. So, I decided to take this step.
When did you make this decision?
Last weekend. I had this idea and I spoke to my friend Arsène Wenger, who read the book and who comforted me in my desire. I just want to distract without making any money. Frankly, if a few hundred readers of Le Parisien have fun reading me, I will be happy!
What is your book about?
It is called “2026, the day when football became American”. It is a thriller with fictional characters but also real stars. And maybe even some characters were inspired by reality. There are quite a few keys.
Why did you want to write this book?
I covered the 1994 World Cup in the USA. At the time, Americans did not care about this sport. Last year I went back there and everything changed. Football (Editor’s note: this is what the Americans call football) has become a real phenomenon. So, I imagined a 2026 World Cup where some Americans would not want soccer as a national sport.
Did Kylian Mbappé, whom you are close to, read the book?
No, but he knows I wrote it. And, let’s say that like Wenger, Deschamps or Zidane, Kylian is someone who surely inspired me to write this book (smiles).
Is your announced separation from TF 1 digested?
Yes. The discussion is ongoing, there is no reason why it should end badly.
Do you know what will look like after TF 1?
It’s far too early to talk about it, but I have lots of ideas in mind!
“2026, the day when football became American”, available at https://chjeanpierre.wixsite.com/2026